Destination Guide: Istanbul
Byzantine churches, medieval markets and chic nightlife
Gaze at Haghia Sofia's Byzantine frescos or contemporary art at Istanbul Modern.
Window-shop at Nisantasi's boutiques and sip cocktails in rooftop bars. To escape the
crowded streets, take a peaceful sail up the Bosphorus.
Food and Drink
Discover waterfront fish restaurants or traditional taverns. In waterfront
Ortaköy you'll find tiny wooden-floored cafés serving classic Ottoman cuisine like
cheesy Gözleme pancakes. Stop in buzzing Beyoğlu for tasty mezzes and
freshly grilled fish. Find romantic hideaways in Tünel or splash out on sushi in
Ulus Park's exclusive restaurants.
Sightseeing and relaxation
Discover Ottoman opulence and arty gems. Visit the home of the sultans' concubines at
Topkapi Palace in Sultanahmet. Gold icons adorn tranquil Greek and Bulgarian
churches in traditional Fener. Take the teleferik cable car to soak up city
views at the hilltop Pierre Loti café. Istanbul Modern's gallery walls show
off today's best Turkish art.
Choose fresh olives or Ottoman antiques. Boutique-hop in Nisantasi for
Istanbul's best designers. Foodies can buy olives and fresh spices around the aromatic
Misir Çarşisi spice market. Hectic Istiklal Caddesi in Beyoğlu has
everything from designer glassware to traditional Turkish instruments while
Cukurcuma's steep streets are chock-full of antique furniture.
Nightlife and Entertainment
Enjoy rooftop cocktails or live Balkan jazz. Lazy whorls of sheesha-pipe smoke and
the clack of backgammon pieces fill the tiny teahouses around Istiklal Caddesi. Gaze
down on the boat-dotted Bosphorus from Beyoğlu's chic rooftop bars or go
celeb-spotting in Ortakoy's open-air nightclubs.